Capitol Access

Weekdays at the bottom of the hour during Morning Edition

Your on-ramp for news and insight from Louisiana's statehouse.

Follow Capitol Access on Twitter @LaCapAxS.

Genre: 

Pages

Capitol Access
3:00 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Higher Education: Paying More for Less

Higher Education system presidents testify in House Appropriations. (L to R) Dr. Monty Sullivan, LCTCS; Dr. F. King Alexander, LSU; Dr. Ronald Mason, SU; Dr. Sandra Woodley, UL.

 

   The House Appropriations Committee got a different look at the cost of six years’ worth of higher education cuts Monday, as the push is on for colleges and universities to better prepare students to fill new jobs coming to Louisiana.

Read more
Capitol Access
3:00 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Payday Lending: 3 Million Louisiana Loans

  You live on a limited income, paycheck to paycheck. Now your next paycheck is in jeopardy, because your car won’t start. What to do?

There’s that payday lending store around the corner, so you go take out a loan and buy a new battery for your car. You give the lender a post-dated check for the amount of the loan, plus interest and fees. The lender cashes your check after you get paid. Done deal, right?

Not always, according to David Gray with the Louisiana Budget Project.

Read more
Capitol Access
3:00 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Lawmakers Not Ready to Reduce Pot Penalties

Testifying before the House Criminal Justice committee are (L to R): Marjorie Esman, ACLU; Rep. Austin Badon; Kevin Kane, Pelican Institute.

  The House Criminal Justice committee took up the first of several bills that have been filed to change Louisiana’s marijuana laws on Thursday. New Orleans Representative Austin Badon is the author of a measure to reduce penalties for second-offense and subsequent convictions for marijuana possession. His bill would also prevent simple possession from being counted toward “three strikes” and life imprisonment.

Read more
Capitol Access
3:00 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Contending Over Common Core

House Education Committee members worked into the night Wednesday, taking testimony on bills that would halt or slow implementation of Common Core state standards and the accompanying standardized tests.

Louisiana is one of 45 states, plus the District of Columbia, that signed onto Common Core. The state is also one of 17 in a consortium using the PARCC tests to evaluate student progress on the new standards.

Read more
Capitol Access
3:00 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Tort Reform Bill Advances to House

LABI president Stephen Waguespack testifies in favor of tort reform
Credit Sue Lincoln

A bill that would change how civil lawsuits are handled in state courts is headed to the House floor. The tort reform bill removes the threshold for having a civil case heard by a jury, instead of only by a judge. Current state law allows a jury trial only if the amount involved exceeds $50,000.

Read more
Capitol Access
3:00 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Higher Education Funding for Worker Development

The House Appropriations Committee advanced a bill establishing the WISE (Workforce and Innovation for a Stronger Economy) Fund on Monday. The proposal, authored by House Speaker Chuck Kleckley and now headed to the House floor, sets up a system to pay bonuses to colleges that turn out graduates prepared to fill the high-demand jobs soon coming to Louisiana. Colleges will also have to come up with a 20 percent match from private firms in order to be eligible for a portion of the $40 million fund.

Read more
Capitol Access
3:00 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Politics of Compromise: Domestic Violence and Guns

A package of bills to help prevent domestic violence deaths is pending debate on the House floor, but without a controversial piece of the puzzle.

Read more
Capitol Access
3:00 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Ice Cream: Red, White, or Rosé?

Louisiana is known as a foodie paradise, but wine ice cream--one of the latest gourmet trends--can’t be sold here without a change in the current alcohol laws. Monroe Representative Marcus Hunter’s bill to allow sales of the new product was heard in the House Judiciary Committee Friday, and members were quick with the quips.

Read more
Capitol Access
3:00 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Do Heroin, Do Time

LSP Commander Col. Mike Edmondson testifies on behalf of bill to impose mandatory jail time for heroin.
Credit Sue Lincoln

While state lawmakers will be considering moves toward decriminalizing marijuana later in this session, they’re heading the other direction when it comes to heroin. Law enforcement officials say that drug has become a lethal epidemic.

Read more
Capitol Access
3:00 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Rally for Payday Lending Reform

Sen. Ben Nevers speaks at payday loan reform rally
Credit Sue Lincoln

Penny Fisher says she got caught in the payday loan trap.

“I borrowed $300 back in ’95, and ended up paying $4,983.30 back.”

Thelma Fleming had two jobs, and lost one. She went to a payday lender to borrow money to pay her bills.

“And I borrowed $300. That really changed my life because I lost my car. My checking account was closed.”

State Senator Ben Nevers of Bogalusa says enough is enough.

Read more

Pages